DIRECTV increases bandwidth with TANDBERG MPEG-4 encoders

Satellite TV provider DIRECTV is using MPEG-4 AVC HD encoders from TANDBERG Television to add more HD channels to its quickly expanding platform. In early 2005, DIRECTV chose TANDBERG’s MPEG-4 AVC HD platform and became the first North American satellite direct-to-home (DTH) provider to launch HD services.

The encoders provide more bandwidth efficiency, the ability to capture and rebroadcast terrestrial HD channels and allow DIRECTV the ability to leverage existing operational efficiencies as well as support future requirements.

DIRECTV currently provides local HD channels to 100 local U.S. markets, representing more than 83 percent of U.S. TV households. The company plans to provide local HD broadcast channels in more than 121 cities, representing approximately 88 percent of U.S. TV households, by the end of this year, and has chosen the MPEG-4 AVC encoding platform for this continued expansion.

For the latest HD capacity upgrade, DIRECTV is using the new EN8095 encoders, which include IP statistical multiplexing, 8VSB input and control of up to three different outputs (MPEG-4 AVC HD/SD and MPEG-2 SD).

The EN8090 encoder allows operators to deliver HD and SD multichannel and single channel MPEG-4 AVC services across cable, satellite, telco and terrestrial networks. The encoders offer advanced compression video processing features, combined with new preprocessing techniques. Advanced audio coding options provide equally impressive low bit rate audio performance.

In addition to selecting the EN8095 encoders for its new local HD MPEG-4 AVC channel expansion project, DIRECTV has deployed several other TANDBERG systems, including the WatchPoint Workflow System and Xport Producer content production solution.

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